DS 4 Crossback rises to lifestyle crossover challenge
10:01 05 February 2016
The new DS 4 has spawned a lifestyle version that brings something different to the crossover sectors, says Matt Kimberley.
The Crossback is the DS 4 that can lay the biggest claim to being new – a move towards the popular lifestyle look, adding dark plastic trim extensions and a black central portion to the front bumper. It also rides 30mm higher than the standard DS 4.
Apart from the trim changes it has practicality-boosting roof rails and its name spelled out across the boot lid.
DS 4 Crossback
Price: DS 4 Crossback BlueHDi 180 EAT6 auto, from £26,595 (range from £21,845)
Engine: 2.0-litre, 180hp, four-cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: Six-speed automatic driving front wheels
Performance: 0-62mph 8.6 seconds; top speed 127mph
MPG: 64.2 combined
CO2 emissions: 115g/km
Looks and image
It wears its add-on trim like it was born with it and, to be fair, this is perhaps the look Citroen should have gone with in the first place. Now the car is under the DS Automobiles brand, more adventurous design is perhaps seeping through.
For some it will be a chic alternative to the mainstream while others will just shrug. The point is that it’s different, and the Crossback’s aesthetic is on a proven track.
Space and practicality
The boot is a straightforward affair with no adjustable floor or hidden compartments. The load lip isn’t too much of an issue and overall space and shape is good and, for most duties, the Crossback is fine.
Roof rails are potentially useful extras. Depending on the engine up front, the towing capacity hovers either side of 1.5 tonnes – enough to cover smaller caravans.
Behind the wheel
The Crossback is similar to drive compared to its 30mm lower counterpart. There’s a tiny bit more body roll through corners but the springs are as firm as ever, not coping especially well with sharper bumps and sometimes making a meal of choppy B-roads.
Find a smooth route, though, and it corners with confidence and stability that most crossover rivals can’t match. It just never quite settles itself on rough roads like the regular DS 4 does.
With 177bhp and 295lb/ft on tap, the flagship diesel is a great match for the car, pulling strongly through the gears. The automatic gearbox works well on the move, too, although it can be a bit snatchy on the uptake from a standstill.
It’s also available with a 120hp 1.6-litre turbo diesel, with manual or automatic transmission, and a manual 130hp 1.2-litre turbo petrol.
Value for money
For £1,000 more than an equivalent DS 4 hatchback you get a car that’s arguably more stylish, and one that looks better in bolder colours. It’s also quite different in concept to most other crossovers. Its downfall is that in some areas the car looks or feels a bit dated, and for this price there are some formidable alternatives.
Who would buy one?
Given the competition it’s probably fair to say that Crossback buyers will simply want something a bit different. The ideal target buyer would be someone who doesn’t want the full height and sometimes roly-poly feeling of a full crossover or compact sport utility vehicle but wants something that’s lifted up compared to common hatchbacks. It looks good, though, and that can’t hurt.